The American flag flies high in front of our building on King Street. By pledging allegiance to the red, white and blue, we also pledge allegiance to the values and ideals that our country holds dear. Ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence such as unalienable rights and the freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Every Sunday, the congregation at the Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship communally affirms these values and ideals, when we declare, ““Love is our doctrine, the quest for truth our sacrament and service our prayer. To dwell in harmony with all life, at peace with one another, seeking knowledge in freedom, serving humankind in friendship, this is our covenant.”

Our fellowship has chosen to demonstrate our desire to dwell in harmony and live at peace with one another by flying two other flags along with the American flag.

We strive to be an intentionally diverse and inclusive fellowship for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. We fly the rainbow Pride flag to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, acknowledge their historic and present-day challenges and to welcome them into our fellowship.

We also have witnessed the overwhelming disparities that affect Black people in our society, and the police brutality that they disproportionately face. We proudly display the “Black Lives Matter’’ flag to demonstrate our commitment to cultivate peace and justice and to show we welcome people of every race to worship with us.

It was upsetting to see these flags stolen two weeks ago. They will be replaced.

As the president of the Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, I welcome whoever took those flags to sit with me and honestly share their beliefs. I will do all I can to listen and be at Peace with them.

No charges will be filed if our property is returned. However, we will continue to search for the person who tried to silence us in this way.

Dr. Stuart Y. Kaplan, resident, Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

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